Lessons Through The Movement (Mothers’ Day 2023) – May 14, 2023 (138-139/365)

Help me, Jesus Christ Almighty.

You’re my only Hope.

Princess Leia really said that. Yeah, she did.

Or I’m saying it at least. This is a Hail Mary I’m doing here, one last pitch before I head out and speak to the people in… oh, a little more than an hour from now. It’s Mothers’ Day, so at least I have that going on. But that’s the thing. There’s so much more going on that I couldn’t even prepare for this. I don’t know what to say. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say – It’s more like I don’t know what to put together for all of us.

It’s frustrating, considering that I actually did do a bit of writing throughout this week, versus the past 2 weeks where I really didn’t do that much… defragmenting of my mind. But I couldn’t say that what I wrote down was of no value, either – it’s just that I don’t know if it’s anything I want to share on the pulpit.

And is it even helping that I’m making this all public? I don’t know, maybe in all this I’m just projecting how I’m having a hard time organizing my thoughts, and organizing my time. You’d think that at my age I’d have all this figured out, but here I am, feeling like I was back in college, cramming just moments before an exam – or, hey, there was that one time I ran home to do my homework during the actual period where it was called for. That was a blast.

It’s procrastination, and I hate it. I’m hating this feeling of not being prepared, and I don’t even know if I should be any more stressed, considering I could excuse myself. Perhaps, with everything changing around me, is this a signal for me to change as well? Is this a sign for me to make adjustments to the flow?

Last night I got a call from one of my partners in an upcoming business, and while the news he shared was definitely positive, he did mention that (1) we should be praying more, and (2) we should prepare to make adjustments to our schedules, considering all the meetings and all the preparations we’d be making once we hit full speed ahead. But it’s not like I actually did nothing until this moment – I tried, as much as I could, to automate some processes so I had time to observe quality and quantity in other tasks. I also tried doing what I did as we prepared to end 2022, and as we entered 2023 – that is, to at least plot out what we would be talking about for the next 3 months.

Now it’s looking like I’m really going to need help from other people, and I guess my issue here is that I’m not ready to delegate things. Maybe it’s because my standards are too high. Or, maybe it’s that I haven’t even communicated my standards explicitly – I’ve assumed that people would naturally follow my lead.

With that said, I don’t know, maybe I should take some time to define what these standards are.

Help me, Jesus Christ Almighty.

You’re my only Hope.

I already told you, yes, Princess Leia said that. But okay – it’s really what I’m saying right now.

I suppose I should just take a verse from Scripture, as suggested by Google, and at least be ready for the next hour, and worry about the other stuff some other time. But first, it seems I’ll be reading out of Wikipedia:

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family or individual, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on different days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. It complements similar celebrations, honoring family members, such as Father’s Day, Siblings Day, and Grandparents’ Day.

The modern holiday was first celebrated in 1907, when Anna Jarvis held the first Mother’s Day service of worship at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia. Andrew’s Methodist Church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine. Her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. She and another peace activist Julia Ward Howe had been urging for the creation of a “Mother’s Day For Peace” where mothers would ask that their husbands and sons were no longer killed in wars. On top of this she also believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.

By 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing Mother’s Day as a local holiday (the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910). In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

From this I see that though the original motive was to rally all mothers to come together to call for peace, we see that time has proven that the world has moved on to just taking one day out of the entire year, to intentionally attribute honor towards our mothers.

And this is not without its Biblical connections. In fact, it’s not because we were told to; Or, sure, it was a commandment at first for us to honor our parents, and to honor our mothers, but as early as the actual passing of the Commandment in Sinai there already was a promise for those who would observe it – and what was that? We were to honor our father and mother, so that “your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12); So the old covenant tells us that if we were to keep the land, or the blessings we have received from the Lord, we would do best to honor our parents.

This wasn’t set aside, even after the death and resurrection of Christ. For see, in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we read the following addenda, and in fact, he goes back to the original commandment: “Children, if you want to be wise, listen to your parents and do what they tell you, and the Lord will help you. For the commandment, “Honor your father and your mother,” was the first of the Ten Commandments with a promise attached: “You will prosper and live a long, full life if you honor your parents.” (Ephesians 6:1-3)

So, in the process of attaining wisdom, we honor the fact that our parents had wisdom before we did.

And just as I enjoy the prospect of parallels, I do believe that when we do honor the fact that our parents had wisdom before we did, so we automatically attain wisdom for ourselves.

Everyone wins.

Today I’d like to take some time for us to recognize the wisdom of a mother… And while this may sound cliche, well, we’re going straight to Proverbs 31.

An excellent wife who can find?

She is far more precious than jewels.

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

What I noticed here is that we need to understand that a good mother is a good wife first, and a good wife is not without her happy husband. The men say a lot about how having a happy wife leads to a happy life, but we also say that a happy wife is a happy mother, and a happy mother naturally has happy children.

She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.

She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar.

She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.

At this point we also see how our mothers not only are very detailed with what they want for their families, but they also couldn’t help but keep us (or something involving us) in their minds.

She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.

She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.

She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.

She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.

She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Note here how a mother has her priorities, but they aren’t just herself and her family. No, in fact we see here that she actually prioritizes those outside of the household, and she would even do so much to help not just the neighbors, but the needy. She would think of them first before she ensures that those within her household are clothed accordingly, and ready for the winter. And finally, it’s only when she’s done her part in helping the community, and then after she’s taken care of her household, that she would make time to make sure that where she rests is splendid.

Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.

It’s here where I ended my discussion, by saying that our mothers are known by their dignity. The men, us fathers – we’re known more for power and strength, but it’s the ladies, it’s the mothers who move with dignity. They do not move in just raw power, as we men are expected to move – no, they move in dignity, or, power mixed with grace, and grace mixed with power. Gracious power, and powerful grace.

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:10-31

It’s later in the evening and I just have to say, well, I could have done better, but I am thankful. I’m thankful, because it wasn’t just dependent on me to ensure that our mothers were blessed today. I have my team, my ever thoughtful team – they took care of every other aspect of the service.

It’s an argument for our need to participate in congregational- that is, corporate worship. Not to say we go in business suits but we not only worship as individuals, but we also worship as a community – within the group, you couldn’t say that everyone is in tip-top shape, but those who are encouraged would lift the rest up. And here I am – going through my own transitions and struggles, but I’m just glad that those who still have more time were able to be a blessing to me and to the rest of the group.

Friends, if you would be so kind, I would appreciate your prayers. I don’t even know who this would reach, but I don’t think it’s an accident you made it this far, in spite of this atrocious content.

But whether you do pray or not, I am thankful for you. Be blessed.

In fact, until the next post, which I’m sure will be better than this chicken scratch… God bless you. I pray you had a Happy Mothers’ Day.

Help me, Jesus Christ Almighty.

You’re my only Hope.

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